Venus, Roddick Collect Titles; Dubai Tennis Saga Continues
by Staff | February 22nd, 2009, 10:51 pm


Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships
Dubai, UAE

Between injury pull-outs and the controversy with the women’s edition banning Shahar Peer, the men’s version of the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships this week is looking pretty thin. Five Top 10 players pulled citing injuries in Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Nikolay Davydenko, Andy Roddick and Fernando Verdasco.
That leaves seeds Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Gilles Simon, David Ferrer, Marin Cilic, Igor Andreev, Ivo Karlovic and Marat Safin.

Watch for: Opening round matches (6) Andreev vs. Spaniard Feliciano “F-Lo” Lopez, (4) Ferrer vs. Ivan Ljubicic, (8) Safin vs. Richard “Baby Fed” Gasquet.

Shocker: Defending champ Andy Roddick pulling while still in the semis at Memphis, passing on defending his ranking points and collecting a hefty appearance fee. “They have all seemed to have legitimate injuries,” Colm McLoughlin, the managing director of Dubai Duty Free, told reporters on Saturday regarding players skipping out. “I have no concerns. We have heard that Roddick was on the start of a hernia. I didn’t hear any other reports.”

Roddick had a different reason for pulling out. “I really didn’t agree with what went on over there,” Roddick said of the tournament denying Shahar Peer a spot in the draw. “I don’t know if it’s the best thing to mix politics and sports, and that was probably a big part of it.”

Delray Beach International Tennis Championships
Delray Beach, Fla., USA

No Top 20 players, but plenty of U.S. talent and a few international surprises will likely make for some interesting semifinal match-ups come the weekend. Nearby Tampa resident Mardy Fish is the top seed, joined by fellow seeds Sam Querrey, Ernests Gulbis, Igor Kunitsyn, Steve Darcis, Florent Serra, Jeremy Chardy and Yen-Hsun Lu.

Last-minute wildcard and former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt is unseeded, as is former world No. 2 Tommy Haas and former Aussie Open runner-up Marcos Baghdatis.

Watch for: (6) Serra vs. Nieminen on the punter’s upset tip; openers (3) Gulbis vs. Baghdatis, (7) Chardy vs. Haas, (8) Lu vs. Hewitt, and (2) Querrey vs. Guillermo “The Backboard” Canas.

Abierto Mexicano Telcel
Acapulco, Mexico

One Top 10 player on both the men’s and women’s sides headline the Mexican Open — Argentine David Nalbandian and American Venus Williams.

Joining Nalbandian on the men’s side are Gael “Force” Monfils, Tommy Robredo coming off a claycourt title last week, defending champ Nicolas Almagro, Jose Acasuso, Al Montanes, Marcel Granollers and former No. 1 Carlos Moya.

The elder Williams sister’s claycourt acumen will be tested against fellow seeds Flavia Pennetta who seeks to defend her title, Spanish comer Carla Suarez Navarro, Iveta Benesova, Gisela Dulko, Lucie Safarova, Tathiana Garbin and last week’s Bogota winner Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez.

Men’s notes: unseeded Juan Monaco vs. (3) Robredo 2nd rd.; (2) Monfils vs. (8) Moya quarterfinal.

Women’s notes: (1) Venus vs. (6) Safarova in quarters; wildcards Anna Orlik of Belarus, Emilie Loit of France, and Melissa Torres Sandoval of Mexico; Kaia Kanepi withdraws with a viral illness.


Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships
Dubai, UAE

Venus Williams says she can be No. 1 in the world again. The elder Williams sister proved it this week in Dubai, defeating world No. 1-ranked sister Serena in the semifinals, and unseeded Frenchwoman Virginie Razzano 6-4, 6-2 in the final to claim the Dubai title on Saturday.

“It was a great week to be able to win against the world’s best player, my sister,” said Venus, who will return to the Top 5 on the WTA Rankings. “I would love to be the best in the world — and I am coming. So I am going to try.” Venus is now the only active player with 40 or more WTA titles.

Regions Morgan Keegan Championships and the Cellular South Cup
Memphis, Tenn., USA

No. 2 seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus wins her second career WTA title and second of the year, upsetting top-seeded Dane Caroline Wozniacki by a convincing 6-1, 6-3 line and raising her career record in finals to 2-4. Azarenka and Wozniacki then teamed in the doubles final, capturing the title with a 6-1, 7-6(2) victory over the Ukraine-Dutch teaming of Fedak-Krajicek.

Copa Sony Ericsson Colsanitas
Bogota, Colombia

No. 7-seeded Spaniard Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez wins her first career singles title with a 6-3, 6-2 upset of No. 3-seeded Argentine Gisela Dulko. Martinez Sanchez then teamed with countrywoman Nuria Llagostera Vives to again beat Dulko and her partner, Italy’s Flavia Pennetta in the doubles final in a third-set tiebreak.

Open 13
Marseille, France

France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won his second title of February on Sunday, defeating unseeded French countryman 7-5, 7-6(3) for the title at Marseille. The 23-year-old Frenchman won his first title of the season in Johannesburg, and improves his 2009 match record to a tour-best 19-3.

“Against Michael it’s different because you have to hit passing shots all the time and you’re always under pressure,” Tsonga said. In the doubles final Llodra turned around and captured the title with countryman Arnaud Clement, defeating Julian Knowle and Andy Ram.

Regions Morgan Keegan Championships
Memphis, Tenn., USA

Andy Roddick got revenge on Radek Stepanek for a loss last week in San Jose, bullying the artful Czech 7-5, 7-5 to take the Memphis title for the second time in his career.

Stepanek grabbed the mike and created a humorous moment during the trophy ceremony by announcing he wanted to present Roddick with the winner’s trophy — after Roddick had taken the runner-up trophy by mistake. Mardy Fish and Mark Knowles captured the doubles title.

Copa Telmex
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Tommy Robredo won his second title in as many weeks, beating homecountry favorite Juan Monaco 7-5, 2-6, 7-6(5) for the Copa Telmex title. Robredo found himself down 0-3 and later 2-4 before fighting back in the third set.

“Juan played very well and the truth is the match was decided by a few points,” Robredo said. “Anyone of us could have won the match…I am very happy for having won back-to-back titles for the first time in my career. It feels great.”


PEER-WTA-DUBAI-ATP-RAM REDUX — From Dave Solomon, writing for the New Haven Register: “The WTA is almost taking bows behind Israeli player Shahar Peer, the 45th-ranked player in the world, who at the 11th hour was denied a visa to compete in the ongoing women’s event in Dubai…It is not for Peer to ask her colleagues or her governing body to take punitive action on her behalf. It shouldn’t need to be asked, not in the 21st century world in which an African-American was elected to the United States presidency…the WTA, which brings its circus to town in late August for the Pilot Pen Tennis tournament, is not the same organization any longer. The governing body and rank-and-file player besmirched themselves by failing its responsibility to support a colleague who faced discrimination within their own family. We take particular exception with Venus and Serena Williams, who ought to be able to see a greater principle when it’s staring them in the face. “I thought it was unfair,” said Venus Williams earlier this week. “We’re all very supportive of Shahar.” Unfair? Unfair is when someone cuts in line in front of you to ride Space Mountain. What happened in Dubai is a disgrace and the fact that not a single player pulled out is a damning statement about the WTA as a whole…WTA head Larry Scott failed in his elemental charge to protect all of his players against discrimination. There is simply no place in the sports world for such behavior.”…

From David Johnson of the Florida Times-Union: “The international outcry has assured that Andy Ram doesn’t face the same ban in this week’s men’s event in Dubai. That’s no thanks to the response by the WTA Tour and Peer’s fellow players, which was weak and spineless. The tour was blind-sided by the move, and that’s embarrassing for an international sports organization that deals with differences in language and culture almost every day. Peer’s fellow players could have rallied to her defense. If Serena and Venus Williams had vowed not to play at a tournament that discriminates against any player, the Dubai event would have been a colossal flop. It’s possible the Williams sisters would have been fined for such a move, and that the boycott would have damaged the tour as much as the tournament. But it’s a stand someone had to take.”…

From tennis writer Charlie Bricker, titled “WTA’s Scott handled Dubai masterfully”: “Should the WTA have cancelled the tournament right there, before the event began?…I argued that, no, WTA CEO Larry Scott had done the right thing by allowing the tournament to go forward while issuing a very strong statement that indicated that Dubai could very easily lose its tournament in 2010. It was my opinion that the individual actions by players, who heavily criticized the UAE decision, and other condemnations by persons and organizations outside the WTA, such as the Wall Street Journal (which was a sponsor) and the Tennis Channel (which refused to fulfill a contract to televise the tournament) were stronger and would be viewed as far more significant than if the WTA turned this Arab-Israeli issue into a Dubai vs. the WTA dispute.”…

From Jemele Hill at ESPN: “Meanwhile, the Williams sisters chose money over principle and met Friday in a semifinal matchup, with Venus winning in a third-set tiebreaker. “Sponsors are important to us,” Venus said. “We wouldn’t be here without sponsors and we can’t let them down. Whatever we do, we need to do as a team — players, sponsors, tour and whoever — and not all break off in one direction. We are team players.” If playing for a lucrative purse is more important than taking a stand for fairness, Venus needs to re-evaluate her definition of a team player. If this had been a racial issue, the Williams sisters would never have played in Dubai, and I couldn’t imagine Venus’ expressing such unabashed loyalty to her sponsors, or even caring what sponsors thought. I’m certain the WTA would have withdrawn and the media coverage worldwide would have been unrelenting. Some of you probably think I’m being unfair by singling out the Williams sisters. There were 53 other female players in the tournament and any one of them could have boycotted on Peer’s behalf. It’s not like the Williams sisters were the only ones who failed Peer. The WTA had some early indications Peer’s participation could be denied. The tour should have threatened to boycott from the onset. Now that all this has transpired, it shouldn’t sanction another event in Dubai. But I expect more from Venus and Serena because they’ve experienced discrimination. I’m as disappointed in them as I was with Tiger Woods, who said Augusta National Golf Club had the right to set club rules however it saw fit, even if it meant excluding female members. Woods clearly forgot the club once used that same excuse to prohibit golfers of color from playing there. When you’re a leader of your sport, you bear a different responsibility, and the Williams sisters have assumed ownership of the torch once carried by Althea Gibson, Billie Jean King and Arthur Ashe. If legacy and equality are important to Venus and Serena, they will give Dubai the Indian Wells treatment. Otherwise they’ll be sanctioning treatment they would never accept for themselves.”…

Harvey Araton writing for the New York Times: “There is always going to be international conflict, and athletes in the middle. But they can’t be abandoned there when there is a choice. Tennis should finish its business in the gulf this month, and say bye-bye, Dubai.”…

DUBAI TO PAY FINE? ADMIT ANY WRONGDOING? — Dubai is still considering whether to appeal the $300,000 fine for denying Israel’s Shahar Peer a spot on the Dubai draw. “There is an appeal situation if we want to use it, in the WTA rule book, but we have not gone into detail on it,” Colm McLoughlin, managing director of Dubai Duty Free, told reporters on Saturday. “I recognize the WTA have an issue with their rules. We are looking at it [the fine] and will respond in a few days.” Furthermore, Dubai Tournament Director Salah Tahlak denied the original statement that Peer had been denied entrance due to security reasons. “Whatever reason was given last week, we had our reasons,” Tahlak said. “Maybe then it was still fresh what happened in Gaza and we made that very clear in the statement.”…

FANS SHUT OUT OF SWEDEN vs. ISRAEL DAVIS CUP — Fearing protests of the Israel team, the government of Malmo, the host of the tie in Sweden, has announced that no fans will be admitted to the Sweden vs. Israel Davis Cup tie. “The ITF has been informed that, for security reasons, the local government in Malmo has advised the Swedish Tennis Association that the upcoming Davis Cup by BNP Paribas first round tie between Sweden and Israel must be played behind closed doors,” says the Davis Cup website. “The ITF thinks this decision is very unfortunate because it denies tennis fans in Sweden the opportunity to watch these elite teams compete in the competition and believes that this is not in the long-term interests of Davis Cup. However, for this tie, the ITF reluctantly accedes to the decision of the local authority.”…

Aussie Casey Dellacqua will undergo shoulder surgery and be out for 3-4 months…

FEDERER OPTS OUT OF DUBAI, DAVIS CUP — Citing a back injury that needs greater attention, Roger Federer announced he will skip the ATP event in Dubai and the March Davis Cup meeting when the U.S. hosts Switzerland. “After my back injury last autumn I didn’t have enough time to build up the affected muscles again and fully heal,” Federer wrote on his website. “I will use the coming weeks for further rehabilitation in order to be sure that I’m fully fit for the rest of the season…This decision was very difficult for me, because I won’t just be missing one of my favorite tournaments of the tour, but also the chance to go through to the next round with my teammates.”…

ATP ROCKED BY STANFORD COLLAPSE — Stanford Financial, the ATP’s official investment, is under investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission. During the ATP event in Memphis last week, Stanford offices in Memphis were raided and shut down. Stanford is accused of bilking up to $8 billion from 50,000+ investors in approximately 131 countries. Stanford is also an official sponsor of the ATP doubles tour. The ATP, while dumping Stanford as a financial advisor, says it is reviewing their sponsorship. Aka, ‘Let us know if you guys are completely f****d, or will still be around to give us cash.’ Stanford is also involved in sponsoring golf, cricket, and sports worldwide, and is a big investor in the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami next month, and the ATP Champions Series senior tour.

So for denying Shahar Peer a spot in their draw, the richest tournament/country in the world gets fined $300,000? That’s like fining you or me $3. That’s weak…

Five-time Delray Beach finalist Xavier “X-Man” Malisse lost in the Delray qualies to Taylor Dent. One-time U.S. hope John Isner lost to Canadian Frank Dancevic.

Former Fed Cup captain Zina Garrison is reportedly suing the USTA, saying she was discriminated against during her time with the team because she is black…

The Tennis Channel has secured the rights to broadcast U.S. Davis Cup ties for the next two years, starting with the U.S. vs. Switzerland in March. The Tennis Channnel takes over for the cable channel Versus, which previously broadcast the ties after they were dropped by ESPN…

After being rebuffed by Brit Davis Cup captain John Lloyd and some of his current players, Greg Rusedski says he is giving up on his bid to play alongside Andy Murray and help drive Britain back into the Davis Cup World Group. Aside from Murray, Britain only has Challenger-level players ranked outside the Top 150 to fill the No. 2 singles spot. Good decision-making Lloyd, bravo! Good luck dropping Britain further into zonal competition…

In Memphis, former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt reached his first semifinal round in 18 months (counting injury time off)…

In recent exos, Tommy Haas beat Pete Sampras in a third-set breaker, while last week at Memphis, Lleyton Hewitt beat Sampras in straights…

The Tennis Channel refused to broadcast the WTA Dubai tournament in protest of the event denying Israel’s Shahar Peer a place in the draw. “This is an easy decision to come by, based on what is right and wrong,” Ken Solomon, the chairman and chief executive of the network, told the New York Times. “Sports are about merit, absent of background, class, race, creed, color or religion. They are simply about talent. This is a classic case, not about what country did what to another country. If the state of Israel were barring a citizen of an Arab nation, we would have made the same decision.” Bravo.

You Might Like:
Wozniacki, Azarenka Collect Claycourt Titles in Charleston, Marbella
And the Lone Voice Against Dubai’s Tennis Travesty is…Andy Roddick?
Venus Williams Gets Family Revenge Winning WTA Dubai Title
Possible Federer v. Murray SF in Dubai; Roddick Withdraws
Roger Federer In NYC Tonight For MSG Showdown

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43 Comments for Venus, Roddick Collect Titles; Dubai Tennis Saga Continues

TD (Tam) Says:

Von, jane, and other Roddick fans, we must celebrate this week’s achievements! Not only has our man won his first title of 2009 avenging his loss at San Jose, but he was also the ONLY player to show any kind of backbone and integrity to pull ouf Dubai due to their refusing Peer a visa on the grounds that she is from the wrong nation! He didnt make up an injury excuse like the other players did -ahem Federer-

I cannot express how wonderful it was to see Andy do this. I am so proud of Andy for what he’s done this week. What a man! What a man ~heart in love~

Have a good week! wish I could be around more but work has been busy busy for me.

jane Says:

Good stuff TD! I hope you have a good week too. And kudos indeed to Roddick.

Von Says:


I wrote a post to you on the other thread with reference to Andy’s win, as follows:


Are you happy and smiling? Hugs to you.”

I’m very proud of our little guy, he’s got chutzpah galore.

I wish you could be around more myself, but work comes first. Hugs.



Ryan Says:

To Von:

I really admire Andy Roddick for standing up and supporting Shahar Peer’s cause and telling everyone that he withdrew coz of that incident….. Forget Federer and Nadal(they are people who are diplomatic enough to ensure that they keep their options open and always get their paychecks from everyone they possibly can get it from)…..ur rite Von….Andy Roddick is the man.GO ANDYYYYY!!!!!!

Ryan Says:

To Von:

From now on u can add me as one of ur hardcore Roddick fan club members.Anyone criticizes A ROD and we’ll join forces and attack them….u know my style.

Roddick is a Donkey Says:

Hilarious that a bunch of jackass’ fans are questioning Federer’s backbone. No one has licked fed’s ass as much as the jackass! If the donkey had shown some backbone like nadal, joker or murray, we would have had a more fun 4yrs from 2004-07 and not the utter domination that fed inflicted on the tour.

You guys should 1st try and get roddick’s tongue out of Fed’s behind before you start claiming that he has a backbone or d^%& ….. ofcourse, to expect that from fans of a donkey would be too much, but jackasses like TD should atleast try.

Henry Says:

To all Roddick fans
and all other true fans of the sport of tennis,

PLEASE don’t get excited or let yourselves be provoked by the post of the “Roddick is a Donkey” person. By ignoring posters like this we can rid these threads of non-constructive, disrespecftul and insulting posts.

Polo Says:

I am glad that Roddick’s hard work with Stefanki is starting to pay off. Roddick also consistently gives good interviews. Funny, witty and self-deprecating. Good player and now becoming more obvious to me, a good person. I can see why some people are such big fans. Can’t blame them. I think I have become one, too.

Colin Says:

Murray lost the first set on a tiebreak to Stakhovsky!
However, he seems (at the moment) to be well in control of the second set.

margot Says:

In a footnote to the Dubai tennis debacle, the Dubai literary festival has just banned a British novelist! You’ve got to laugh cos otherwise you’d cry. However, with no messing about, the lovely Margaret Atwood has pulled out immediately.

blakemccaski11 Says:

Congrats to Andy Roddick on his title, the classiest athlete in sports today for not defending his title in Dubai for their discrimination of jews.

I like tennis bullies Says:

Arod moves up to number one on my bully list.
good stuff Rod.

Henry Says:

Stefanki and Roddick do seem like a great team and obviously get on incredibly well with each other. You are going to make Von and a few others really happy with your post !

See, how people read and like positive posting. Seems like Roddick is now on Polo’s preferred player list

If we can all objectively (which is tough for us all) listen to or read about why someone prefers one player over the other, there’s a good chance we start seeing things we actually like in the other person’s player(s) too.

Grendel and Von,
I have the Loehr article: ‘Love the Battle: Rafael Nadal’ If there’s a way I can forward it to you, let me know ro did you manage to download it from elsewhere.

John Schnackenberg Says:

Although it is easy for me, an ordinary Tennis nut, to pontificate without knowing the inner working of the Tennis WTA elite, I have a thought that would make both the Williams sisters number one at the same time.
Williams father is not bashful and has openly on several occasions talked about the prejudice that his daughters have been exposed to during their career.
This Dubai tournament would of been the opportune time for the sisters to give back and bow out of the Tournament with a clear explanation supporting the expelling of Shahar Peer
Why does it take a gentleman like Roddick to show up the sisters?
Bravo to Roddick and the sisters are at the very least, pinheads with short memories.
They had their opportunity to both become number one to all Tennis fans, to bad!

Shan Says:

Good – but more still needs to be done with UAE. Ideally Dubai is downgraded with no options of new tourneys in the UAE for x years. Players should only have one thing to worry about and that’s the player on the other end of the court.

Colin Says:

The responsibility for this screw-up lies with the ATP and the WTA. When, as sometimes happens, someone poses as a doctor and for a time gets away with it (sometimes, horrendously, getting into an operating theatre), they are quite properly prosecuted when found out. But whom do we, the public, subject to heavy criticism? The medical authorities, for not having better vetting procedures, that’s whom. Was there nobody in the WTA or ATP who saw this coming? No Jews, who might well be suspicious of Arabs in advance? Nobody to pipe up and say, “Hang on, guys – they don’t admit people on Israeli passports. Suppose Peer applies to play there”? It was cheeky of Dubai to apply, but it was seriously lax of the tennis authorities not to know what could happen.
By the way, Mr Schnackenberg, Peer wasn’t “expelled”. You can’t expel someone who hasn’t come in. As for the Williams sisters, unless I’m dreaminmg I read that Venus did make a statement when she received the trophy. A statement made on the spot would have more impact on the locals than one made by someone thousands of miles away.

todd smith Says:

There is a lot of negative reaction coming at the Williams sisters for not boycotting Dubai. The critics say that they, the Williams, should be especially sensitive to the “issue.” Well, Israel was one of the few countries that wouldn’t support the embargo against South Africa during Apartheid. Israel did not think that Apartheid was a problem that should interfere with her commerce. Why should the Williams sisters be so concerned about Shahar Peer being denied a visa when Israel doesn’t have a problem with black people being treated like slaves?

MMT Says:

Colin – with respect, the responsibility for addressing the UAE’s decision lies with the WTA and the ATP. The responsibility for the UAE’s decision itself lies squarely on the UAE and the tournament in Dubai.

Todd Smith – respectfully, the Williams sisters responsibility is to one of their fellow professionals, not the state of Israel. They should support their fellow professional because the rules of the tour have been violated to her detriment, and that is not fair – it’s one of the reasons a professional association unionizes.

I think we’re playing right into the hands of the UAE by discussing the role of Israel here. Israel has not had its rights violated – Shahar Peer’s rights have been violated, and it is this, and only this, that merited a stern and immediate response from the WTA, and in particular from its leaders.

And Williams tepid words of support, while happily accepting a winners’ check, offering late and utterly useless words of support for a woman who’s at home watching on tv, when she shouldh have been competing. It’s absurd.

If she and the professionals had met in the ball room of the lovely hotels they were comped while in Dubai and decided to make the following statement:

“We will not play this tournament as long as one of our fellow professionals is denied her right to compete, as is stipulated by her membership in the WTA, and to which all tournaments have agreed abide as a condition of hosting an event,” they’d probably be nominated for a humanitarian award.

As it stands, they have been revealed to be servile to the almight dollar, and the smudge on the game will not easily be removed by a few silly fines, a few empty statements from her and from Larry Scott, and from the tacit acquiescence of the men’s tour who, without making any statements of proclamations of any kind, are apparently able to have their cake and eat it too.

They have been very fortunate to avoid scrutiny for their own oversight of infractions against male Israeli tennis players, and they have the WTA to thank for that.

Had it not been for the Tennis Channel pulling its coverage, the WSJ Europe pulling its sponsorship and the threat of more money leaving the event, it probably would have been swept under the rug just like years past.

jane Says:

margot – oh I love Atwood; I just taught one of her short stories today. Good for Maggie in taking a stand! (off topic, I know).

Looks like Tipsy almost took out Cilic for Novak. Alas, it was not meant to be. Oh well, may the better man win at this event. Lots of 3 setters today in Dubai.

andrew miller Says:

Let’s hear it for Roddick. I appreciate that the defending Dubai champ made this gesture and was honest about why he decided not to play. I got to hand it to Roddick – that was the statement of the year.

Ryan Says:

Tipsy is novak’s hitman….

Ryan Says:

but someone who keeps missing the targets.

tenisbebe Says:

Von (and others):
In previous post, said I wanted to hear Andy’s response to the “hernia” story put out by DDF. He didn’t let me down….

Andy Roddick wants to clear up any misconceptions about why he’s not going to Dubai. It has nothing to do with his health, and he proved that Sunday on the court. “There’s no other reason. Obviously, I don’t have a hernia. I probably wouldn’t have played too well today. I would ask you guys to check but that might be inappropriate. I’m 100 percent healthy,”

Ha, Ha! Always worth a soundbite!

TD (Tam) Says:

Von, thank you for your kind words I am glad to know that I haven’t been forgotten by you even if I am not posting here as much. I just had to come on to celebrate Andy’s win and of course his boycotting Dubai in support of Peer.

I don’t remember which post it was but you made a nice discussion about Roger hurting more than he is letting on and I just wanted to let you know that nobody expresses themself as clearly and beautifully as you do.

Von Says:


Thanks ever so much for being the voice of reason, and a very kind one too, if I might add. The RIAD guy is now an invisible one. I made a promise to myself this year, that I’d refrain from getting embroiled in heated deliberations and arguments with those whose main objective is to provoke or target. I have failed a couple of times already, but I keep reminding myself, and I’m working on my shortcomings. I want blogging to be fun while being fruitful, with as much camaraderie and good fellowship as can be derived. I am impressed by your level-headedness and fairness to all.

Are you the same Henry who spoke up on behalf of Nishikori when he beat Blake at DelRay last year? If you are, we had a couple of pleasant exchanges on the matter. I’m happy to see you have begun posting more actively, and hope you’d stick around as a permanent fixture. I sound as though you’re a piece of furniture. Ha, ha.

I’m very much interested in reading the Nadal article. Could you not post the shortcut on this thread? It would also enlighten others and provide much insight on Nadal the tennis player. Your post on his mother’s thoughts regarding his on-court personality, has somewhat swayed me, and I’m beginning to understand his behavior, but I’ve also realized that my feelings on his on-court behavior is somewhat justified, because if his MOTHER can’t handle it, then I’m not being unreasonable.

I’m worried that if I were to read the article, it might make me a convert. Ha, ha. Are you trying to engage me into being a convert through the gentle art of persuasion? Who knows, Henry, you might be somewhat successful. Ha, ha. But, then again, if I were to become a convert just think how boring everything would be. So many wouldn’t post because no one would be raising their ire and incurring their wrath. Boring stuff, Oh Henry.

If you can’t provide the shortcut, I’d be glad to give you an email address I use just for people I’ve come to know on the blogs, just let me know.
Polo: Thanks for the support on “our’ Andy Roddick. I say “our’ because I see you’re a convert now. Remember, what I told you previously, the gentle art of persuasion does it.

You’ve made a very accurate observation. I think Stefanki is the right coach for Andy. Stefanki always has an up personality and that’s what Andy needs. He’s also a father-figure type guy who knows how to handle hot-heads, which A-Rod is for sure. I don’t understand what Andy saw in Connors. He’s the absolutely wrong personality for Andy.

I’ve seen some worthwhile improvements in Andy’s groundies and he has a better all-court game. He’s been hitting the backhand down the line with bang-on accuracy, and painting the lines as well, not to mention his movement. His matches with Querrey, and Stepanek were better matches where he didn’t have to rely on his serve to get him out of the tight spots. I particularly admired how he broke Step in each of the last games. He jumped on Step’s serve each time without hesitation and it paid off — tie-breaks averted.
Ryan: Thanks bro. I know your style. You’ve always been pretty fair to A-Rod in the past, and I appreciate it. I can use the support and rest, because sometimes it’s difficult to ignore the crude stuff, and I get myself into unhappy situations. It’s easier when there’s more than one fighting for the cause — solidarity.

Andrew Miller:

Good job by Andy in winning Memphis. He was so close in San Jose, but Step was too peaky on that day. I was very surprised how easily he beat Haas at San jose because Haas has in the past, been a bit difficult for him. Maybe that 2nd GS that’s on the horizon, is now getting closer to earth. Earth to A-rod –

ojo Says:

Tipsy is novak’s hitman….

Ryan, no. Actually Wawrinka is Fed’s hitman.

Von Says:


First, thank you for being so persistent in your search to clarify the ridiculous hernia statements. You’re more conscientious than I am. I don’t have the time nor the patience to surf sites. I do surf at times, but it’s when I can’t find the info from any other source. Maybe I’m too lazy and it’s not really lack of computer knowledge — it’s probably both. Can I ask you a personal question, are you guy or gal? I just like to put faces on the posters and the gender helps.

I was positive Andy couldn’t have a hernia. From stories I’ve heard from guys who’ve had it, it’s a painful condition, and I don’t think an athlete could play as well as Andy did at Memphis if he was hurting. The person who made that statement should be ashamed of himself. Of all things to find as an excuse, a hernia? LOL. What a jerk!!!!!

Did you hear Andy’s remark to the chunky guy at the trophy presentation ceremony? The guy was listing Andy’s accomplishments, and he stated “you lost weight”, to which Andy replied: “And it looks good on you”. The poor guy smiled, but I’m positive he had to be embarrassed. A good quip by Andy, but not a very smart one, considering he could have or might have offended the guy. To me, it reflected how glib Roddick is and so very quick with his wit. (’02’);

Von Says:


You’re very welcome. How can I ever forget Andy’s greatest fan, TD? Not a chance. I always remember you whenever we need to celebrate.

Thanks for the compliments. I try. I absolutely think Federer is hurting big-time, but he’s too proud to reveal it. Leos are that way. I’m one, and a very stubborn one. We’re also very, very proud, much to our detriment. I don’t believe in astrology as a whole, but there are similarities in traits of those born under the same sign. As for men crying, I believe it’s a very good thing. I always encouraged my son, when he was a kid, to cry privately if he felt hurt. Nothing wrong with men crying, after all we’ve all got androgynous traits — men and women.

Hugs to you my Roddick friend, and mwah, mwah — that’s my attempt at a kiss on the cheek. ha, ha. I miss those darn smileys. Tenniks.x is dragging its feet on upgrading the feature or enablin g it. Come on guys, move it!!

Twocents Says:

Isn’t it great how things turned out? Roddick got a title even though he didn’t defend the middle east one. Fed and Nadal got the break they wanted and did not have to say a word about politics. Fed even got out of DC :-)) en route, almost ensuring USA a free pass to DC QF. Good guys all win this time, imho.

Go Roddick!

Henry Says:

Thanks for your kind words. I will try to stick around when possible.

Yes, I was the guy last year that tried to make people aware of the qualities of the up and coming youngster Nishikori. There were some that were posting about his achievements in Delray in a degrading fashion without knowing the kid. He’s one of those other kids that I followed from when he was an U14 junior and saw him play the finals of the Junior Orange Bowl. I was in Delray the week he won his first ATP title (I’m there this week too), so just wanted to set those negative posters straight.

Converting you to become a Nadal fan…? Now that would be an achievement, eh?! No, don’t worry… all I want is for you to get ‘to know’ and appreciate him a little more. But, hey, who knows. It seems we’ve motivated some on these threads to think twice when they talk about Roddick and to start appreciating him more. So, maybe, just maybe I could gently be “somewhat successful” as you say !!

With regard to the Loehr article: I have it because a relation of mine and I used it for a ‘ritual article’ and I would love to post it here, but I don’t think that would be correct in relation to the people of Therefore, I prefer to send it to you.

Happy blogging!

Von Says:

Two Cents:

All things work out for the greater good. Our guy pulled out a good win. I’m happy for him.

Did you buy tickets for DC?


You’re welcome. You never know about the power underlying the art of gentle persuasion. I don’t think I can be converted to being a Nadal fan, but I could possibly change my views on his on-court playing tactics. The whys and wherefores might become clearer and more meaningful to me. Only time will tell ….

jane Says:

Yummy match tomorrow – even if it has to be in controversial Dubai: Safin takes on Gasquet. Wonder who’ll implode / collapse first! I am thinking Gasquet will win. But that match could have some lovely shot-making if these two play well. They have not played since 2006 so am not sure the H2H (3-1 for Safin) matters much.

Also, I noticed Monfils is in the top ten! Where’s Sean’s op-ed?

tenisbebe Says:


Thank you for your kind words. Actually a friend sent the link – no need to surf – & I passed it along. By the way, I am female – Anne Marie (suppose I could change my “handle” but..).

Yes, I did see the post-match ceremony & heard Andy’s quip to the announcer. Very naughty of him – but I got the impression from his body language (& I could be totally wrong on this) that he was a little weary of the weight loss comments & perhaps thought it an inappropriate remark for a trophy presentation ceremony – so he gave it back. Not excusing him, just my impression. In any case, as you mention, maybe not the smartest move.

Colin Says:

MMT – you speak of a “UAE decision” as though they sat down, considered Peer’s application, and then rejected it. They barred her automatically as an Israeli peassport holder, not as an individual named Peer. How easy would it be for a North Korean to get a visa to the USA? Maybe it would be possible, but I bet it’d be a struggle. How about a player from Gaza, who might have voted for Hamas (in the free election which brought them to power)?
Sorry to keep banging on about the “politics”, but it can’t in this instance be ignored.

sar Says:

Hi all,
Djokovic managed to pull off a win today. I hope he can keep up the pace and focus to win it. Notice Djokovic’s draw compared to Murray.

I like tennis bullies Says:

is federer still in hiding?

margot Says:

I see Monfils has got into top 10. I’m really pleased, what a talent he is, just hope he keeps injury free for a while.

scott Says:

Murray is world No. 1 in waiting.

grendel Says:

Von says:”I’ve also realized that my feelings on his on-court behavior is somewhat justified, because if his MOTHER can’t handle it, then I’m not being unreasonable.”

Well, you may or may not be being unreasonable (and the same applies to me, since my feelings seem similar to yours in this respect).

But as I understand it from Henry’s original post about this elusive article, which we all want to read but can’t, what freaked Mama Nadal was not her son’s behaviour on court as such but the stark CONTRAST it offered to his behaviour at home.

Henry Says:


you obviously did not read the posts in which I kindly offer to send “the elusive article” to both you and Von.

And, btw, his winner mentality on court doesn’t “freak Mama Nadal” and it doesn’t make her not like him. When people themselves don’t have a highly and all out competitive approach to whatever they do in life, it’s hard to understand what drives others that do.

grendel Says:

Henry, forgive me, but I am not sure what the mechanism is for you to send the article – since I don’t want to put my email address on public display, as it were. However, if you know some way of doing it, I would be much in your debt.

With regard to your other comment, I’m a bit mystified. Of course Nadal’s “winner mentality” doesn’t make his mother not like him. What an idea! I was simply drawing on the article as described by you. i.e. Mama Nadal can’t bear to watch her son play because of the way he seems to metamorphose from the nice boy next door when at home into etc, etc. This was a very telling image.

As for the competitive stuff, I think we all understand that well enough. Some of us, not necessarily the least competitive, have ambiguous feelings about it, however.

Mary Says:

Would it be possible for you to scan the article and post it under a forum topic at

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